A Missouri woman was indicted on federal charges related to the suicide of a 13-year-old cyber-bullied MySpace user this week. In this video interview, an internet and privacy lawyer considers cyber bullying and how the law and the Web intersect.
Andy Carvin, author of the PBS blog Learning.Now, states "The trial, of course, will take some time to play out, and we'll have to see how the jury responds to the case. Either way, the charges against Lori Drew potentially put every cyber-bully on notice: if you use online networks to inflict distress and harm on someone, don't be surprised if the long arm of the law reaches you."
This story challenges parents, schools and internet providers to understand and seriously address the commonplace (typically low-profile) issue of cyber-bullying.
"The broader issue of hate on the Internet has really taken a back seat to things like spam and obscenity and child predation, all admittedly important topics, but hate on the Internet has sort of fallen off the priority list." - Christopher Wolf, Internet and Privacy Lawyer
1. What is cyber-bullying?
2. Do you communicate or learn online often? Why or why not?
1. Does the suicide in the story seem like something that happens often? Do you see a problem with online harassment in your school community?
2. Do you think the woman should be charged in this case? Why or why not?
3. Do you think school administrators will get more or less strict about how their students use the Internet at school?